Finding Joy in the Little things
I’ve come to realize that finding joy in the little things is one of those gems of life. The problem is, because we have our blinkers on, we haven’t realized how precious they are. Yes, there is great joy in the proposal on the beach and the first words uttered by your child, but are we missing the details? Are we missing out on a whole other level of joy that could fill our lives? Joyous moments are literally all around us if we pay closer attention!
In this blog I’ve put together a list of pure, simple joys that I think are often overlooked and undervalued (Please add to the list in the comments, I’d love to see it grow!). They are the simple pleasures that elevate our life experience if we will only stop to notice them.
Feel into the Experience
While reading this list I want you to take a moment to really put yourself into the feeling and experience of these joyful moments. Even better, re-create them if you can! The idea is to really wake up to the fact that these small, often unnoticed, experiences can actually bring great joy. This is personal, of course, but there is something on the list for all of us to ponder on.
Finding joy in the little things means taking the time to stop and enjoy these moments, so really give it the time it deserves. Be mindful of the full experience. I’ve listed them according to our senses to get you to really think about the specific experience more closely.
Joy in Fragrances
- The smell of crushed mint or lemons
- The smell of freshly brewed coffee or freshly baked bread
- That smell that hangs in the air when rain is on the way
- The distinctive smell of chocolate!
- The smell of newborn babies (and puppies!)
- The beautiful fragrance of lavender
- The smell of cookies, fresh out of the oven
- The smell of wood burning on the fireplace or firepit
- The distinctive smell of pine needles in the forest
Smells can trigger memories in an instant, more than any of our other senses. They just take us right back to that exact place and time in a magical kind of way. A perfume that takes you back to your Grandmothers lap or the smell of a pie baking in the oven reminding you of your Mum. It is a powerful sense that can bring on strong emotions and great joy! Have a think about a scent that stirs happy emotions in you.
Tuning in to the sense of smell, to me, is quite an emotional way of finding the joy in the little things. It has the power to make me feel like a child again and stirs up beautiful memories and emotions. Do you have fragrances that do this to you?
Joy in Touch
- The feel of a fluffy blanket against your face
- The Winter sun on your skin on a cold day
- Dipping beneath the water on a hot Summers day
- Feeling your cat purring on your lap, all curled up in a ball
- The feeling of soft rain on your skin
- Sand between your toes
- The comfort of nuzzling your face into a loved one’s neck
- The soft, squishiness of bread dough beneath your fingers
Touch makes everything more real. Where smell can feel quite ethereal touch makes you feel more present in the moment. These experiences are all comforting. A wonderful way to be more connected and mindful in the moment.
Think about something that makes you feel present and alive in the moment. For you it could be the way the wind against your face when you’re driving with the window open or the soothing of your muscles when you get a massage. Focus on that specific feeling and moment and appreciate how it makes you feel.
Joy in Sound
- Closing your eyes and listening to the sounds of nature while on a bush walk
- Listening to a song that takes you to a happy place
- The sound of the waves crashing on the shore
- The sound of laughter
- Birds chirping in the trees
- Listening to someone playing an instrument live: acoustic guitar or piano
- The sound of the ice-cream truck playing its well known tune!
- The simple crunch of a crisp, cold apple
- And, what about the sound of the car pulling into the driveway when your loved one returns home
There’s a lot that can be said for the power of sound. Music can lift your mood instantly, laughter is pure magic, and nature has a beautiful way of making us feel alive! Pay attention to the shift in your emotions when you hear sounds that you enjoy. Stop and acknowledge how these simple joys affect your life. Finding joy in the little things requires full, focused attention on any one thing. Taking in the beauty of that experience and that moment.
Closing your eyes and listening to the sounds around you is like meditation. You step away from all the distractions and fully absorb the moment. Whether it’s listening to a waterfall in the forest, the sound of the crickets or just the sound of you cat purring, you become aware of the beauty of the moment.
Joy in Sight
- The perfect design of a seashell
- Watching a butterfly fluttering by
- The dappled light shining through the leaves of a tree
- The water trickling over the rocks in a stream
- Watching a ladybird crawl across your skin
- Watching children play with bubbles or splash in puddles
- Taking in the details of the petals on a rose
- Watching the clouds moving across the sky
- Watching raindrops racing down a window or bubbles in a bubble bath
Our sight could be the sense we take for granted the most. We use it all the time, for every experience, so we often don’t appreciate it as much. Take the ladybird as an example. It grabs our attention because we don’t expect it. We focus on the colours and the design of this perfect little creature. We marvel at it. But, do you pay as much attention to the beauty of the seashell? After all, there are so many of them. But, pick one up and look more closely and you will become mesmerized by the beauty of its intricate design, just like the ladybird.
Take the time to marvel at nature’s beauty more closely. Pick up the driftwood on the beach and study its patterns or hold a leaf up to the sun to see the veins running through it. This is about seeing that there is purpose, and beauty, in the design of everything around us that we take for granted. Finding joy in the little things means learning to say thank you to the flowers for blooming, to the sun for rising and to the stars for shining.
Joy in Emotions
- The way you feel when you’ve done something kind for someone
- The moment when your favourite song completely lifts your mood
- When you’re feeling down and someone sends you a text at just the right time
- That flash of a beautiful memory that comes out of nowhere to brighten your day
- Running through the rain instead of hiding from it
- The synchronicity of a phone call from someone you’ve been thinking about
- The thrill of the dip on the rollercoaster or skateboarding down a hill
You may not have thought of emotions as the ‘little things’ before, but these little moments mentioned above are more significant than we give them credit for. They bring us so much joy and all from fleeting moments. But, they build up in our memory banks and they create our view of our life experience.
Remember to be grateful for each experience in life that has brought you joy. The more we focus on them the more grateful we are and the more happy experiences we bring into our lives.
Make it Count
Life is made up of just a few major events. The rest are millions of little ones. This larger part of our lives often goes unnoticed. Take the time to realize that you are missing out on so much of your life if you don’t pay closer attention to these moments. They are often so much more beautiful than the heavier, negative moments in our lives that we pay way more attention to.
Let’s make an effort to bring these moments into sharper focus. It will make us more mindful, more grateful and happier. It will make us realize that there are so many positives to focus on in this life and to help us to let go of the negative. Look around at your daily life. Find the tiny, magical moments that you’ve been letting slip by. How about making a list, just for today, of all the little things that would have slipped by unnoticed. Make a note of how they made you feel. Really embrace the joy that there is to be had in such seemingly insignificant moments. This is where so much of the beauty of our life experience lies. I hope you enjoyed the blog and it has inspired you to open yourself up to the joy all around you.
Looking to start a Gratitude Practise? Head over and check out the Gratitude Journal Printables!
Or, head over to this blog, they have so many inspirational quotes on the little things.
Don’t forget to add to the list in the comments, let’s get creative and inspire each other!
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